Nearly seven years ago, then-MK Moshe Feiglin announced his departure from the Likud, ending his years-long efforts to win control of the party with his Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) faction.
Feiglin went on to establish the libertarian Zehut party, which drew significant media attention during its Knesset bid in 2019, but ultimately failed to cross the electoral threshold.
After leaving politics, Feiglin announced his return to the Likud earlier this month.
Speaking with Arutz Sheva, Feiglin explained his decision to rejoin the Likud, and his aspirations to one day lead the party.
“I’m back to the Likud. At this time, the vehicle to continue the journey I started 25 years ago is the Likud. And the Likud is accepting us with open arms. It is not the same Likud I left seven years ago.”
When you left, you were very critical of Netanyahu.
“We are a very different situation now. There was a putsch Israel against the Jewish majority. This is what we saw. Three years of ridiculous charges [against Netanyahu], then at the end came Bennett and basically stole seven mandates and gave them to the Left and the Arab and democracy became nothing.”
“Netanyahu got 30 mandates and the Prime Minister right now has six. It is ridiculous.”
But we’re in a parliamentary system. Bennett has the majority of the Knesset Members.
“Legally, you’re right. Morally, of course not. Because when people went to vote, they didn’t vote for parties, they voted mostly for whom they want to be prime minister. Those who voted Likud basically said they wanted [Netanyahu]. Those who voted Yamina, those six mandates he had, said ‘we want Bennett’. No one dreamed of a situation in which Bennett would become premier".
Feiglin dubbed the formation of the unity government earlier this year a “legal steal of votes,” and a “steal of democracy”. He added that the “main goal” of the removal of Netanyahu from office was to negate the rule of Israel’s Jewish majority.
Practically speaking, what would you do? We’ve had election after election? Should we have gone to another election?
“In order to get rid of the Jewish majority – and notice what I’m saying here: to get rid of the Jewish majority, not to get rid of Netanyahu – by destroying its leader…we decided to put democracy on hold.”
“Your question assumes that it is fine. But is not. The basic concept that the state belongs to the people and not some elites was broken here by that move.
Why do you define Netanyahu as the leader of the entire Israeli Right? He got 30 seats, which represents only part of the Right.
“He got a substantially higher number of seats than the others. There is an established tradition… a leader that has that kind of majority is the leader of Israel. That is what the Israeli voter meant. Many, many voters supported Yamina and Bennett…because he swore that he would not go with Lapid…and he did the exact opposite.”
“This is not democracy.”
Is it still your goal to be chairman of the Likud and prime minister of Israel?
“After the time of Netanyahu, yes, I am definitely planning to do it. And I came to the conclusion that the best chance to succeed is in the Likud. I’m not going to challenge Netanyahu’s leadership before the time. I’m working in cooperation with him.”